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White Wines


white wine   Notes:    White wines are more delicate than red wines and are always served chilled.   Dry (i.e., not sweet) white wines include Chardonnay, Chablis, and Sauvignon Blanc.  These are normally served with fish, poultry, veal, blue cheeses, and anything with a cream sauce.  Sweeter white wines are often described as "fruity" and include Gewürztraminer, Johannisberg Riesling, and Chenin Blanc.  These are good with spicy foods, fruit, and desserts.   Substitutes:   dry vermouth  OR blush wine OR sake OR sparkling wine OR sherry OR mirin OR white grape juice OR apple juice OR apple cider OR chicken broth plus lemon juice OR clam juice (in seafood recipes) OR water 



Bordeaux wine (white)   Pronunciation:   bore-DOUGH   Notes:   The Bordeaux region in France is renown for its red wines, but it also produces excellent white wines, made with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes.   Substitutes:   Sauvignon Blanc

Burgundy wine (white)    Notes:   Burgundy is a region in eastern France that produces excellent red and white wines.   Some of the better wine-producing areas in Burgundy are Chablis and Pouilly-Fuissé, both of which produce exquisite white wines from Chardonnay grapes.  Burgundy wines produced in the United States are usually inexpensive blends of different grape varieties. 

Chablis   Pronunciation:  shah-BLEE  Notes:    If made in France, this is a very dry, delicately flavored white wine that's made with Chardonnay grapes.  It's great with seafood, especially oysters.  If made domestically, like a California Chablis, it's a sweet and cheap jug wine.     Substitutes:  Pouilly-Fuissé OR Chardonnay OR Pinot blanc OR Sauvignon Blanc OR Muscadet OR vermouth (Use this substitute for cooking, not drinking.  Use dry vermouth only.) 

Chardonnay = Pinot Chardonnay  Pronunciation:  shar-duh-NAY  Notes:   This elegant white varietal wine is crisp and dry, and great with seafood, poultry, ham, egg dishes, salads, and any dish with a rich cream sauce.  California Chardonnays are often excellent.   Substitutes:   Pinot blanc OR Chablis (French Chablis wines are made with Chardonnay grapes.)  OR Muscadet OR vermouth (Use this substitute for cooking, not drinking.  Use dry vermouth only.) 

Chenin blanc = White Pinot   Notes:   This is a grape variety that's often blended with others to make inexpensive white jug wines and domestic Chablis.  It's relatively inexpensive and goes well with salads, seafood, poultry, ham, and spicy foods.   Substitutes:   Pinot blanc OR Chablis (Domestic Chablis wines are often made partly from Chenin Blanc grapes.) OR vermouth (Use this substitute for cooking, not drinking.  Use dry vermouth only.) 

French Colombard = Colombard    Notes:   This is a variety of grape that's often made into white jug wine.    Substitutes:  Chenin Blanc

Gewürztraminer = Gewurztraminer = Traminer   Pronunciation:  guh-VURTZ-trah-mean-er  Notes:    German and domestic versions of this white wine are somewhat sweet, flowery, and relatively low in alcohol.  They're very good with curry and spicy Asian food.  Imports from Alsace tend to be drier and are excellent with seafood and poultry.   Substitutes:  Johannisberg Riesling OR Colombard OR Chardonnay OR Sauvignon blanc OR (for cooking) 1C = 1/2 C white wine + 1/2 C water + 1/3 C sugar

Johannisberg Riesling = White Riesling    Pronunciation:  yoh-HAHN-iss-berg REEZ-ling   Notes:    This is a grape variety that produces a fragrant, fresh-tasting white wine that's great with ham, sausages, smoked fish, shellfish, or spicy Asian food.  It's the grape that's used to make excellent Rhine wines in Germany.  Don't confuse these excellent wines with domestic Riesling wines, which are usually made with inferior cousins of the Johanissberg Riesling grape.  Late harvest Johannisberg Rieslings are very sweet, and make excellent dessert wines.   Substitutes:    Rhine wine, white (Riesling grapes are used to make white Rhine wine.) OR Gewürztraminer OR Chenin blanc OR Pinot blanc OR (for cooking) 1C = 1/2 C white wine + 1/2 C water + 1/3 C sugar

Muscadet    Pronunciation:  moo-skuh-DAY  Notes:    This is a district in Brittany, France, that produces a crisp, light white wine that's especially good with seafood.   Always serve it chilled.  Don't confuse this with Muscatel or Muscat, which are both dessert wines.   Substitutes:   Pinot blanc OR Chardonnay OR chablis OR sauvignon blanc 

Pinot blanc   Pronunciation:  pee-noh BLAHN   Notes:   This is a good, but unexceptional, dry white wine that's good with seafood and poultry. Substitutes:   Chardonnay OR Muscadet OR Chablis OR Sauvignon Blanc 

Pinot Grigio = Pinot gris   Notes:   This is a dry white wine that goes especially well with seafood.  Pinot Grigio is the Italian name, Pinot Gris the French.  Substitutes:   Gewürztraminer OR Riesling  

Pouilly-Fumé = Fumé de Pouilly = Pouilly-Fume = Fume de Pouilly  Pronunciation:   pooh-YEE few-MAY Notes:  This is a highly regarded dry white wine.   Substitutes:  Sauvignon blanc

Pouilly-Fuissé   Pronunciation:  pooh-YEE fwee-SAY   Notes:   This is an area in the Burgundy region of France that's renown for its exquisite white wines.  Made with Chardonnay grapes, these wines are great with seafood and hors d'oeuvres.   Notes:  Chardonnay

retsina   Pronunciation:   ret-SEE-nah  Notes:  This is a white Greek wine that's flavored with pine resin.  It's popular with Greeks, but hasn't caught on elsewhere.  It should be served at room temperature.  Substitutes:  metaxa

Riesling    Pronunciation:   REEZ-ling  Notes:   If made in Germany or Alsace, a Riesling is a very good, somewhat sweet white wine.   If made in America, it's usually a so-so white wine that's usually made from Sylvaner = Franken Riesling, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling grapes, mediocre varieties which coast on the reputation of their superior relative, Johanissberg Riesling.   Substitutes:    Johanissberg Riesling OR Gewürztraminer OR Pinot Blanc OR Chenin blanc OR Pinot blanc OR 1C Riesling = 1/2 C white wine + 1/2 C water + 1/3 C sugar

Sauvignon blanc = blanc fumé = blanc fume    Pronunciation:   so-vee-NYOHN BLAHN  Notes:    This light white wine is often described as having a "grassy" flavor.  It's terrific with seafood, poultry, and other delicately flavored dishes.   Substitutes:   Chardonnay  OR Pinot blanc OR Chablis OR Muscadet OR Gewürztraminer


Sémillon = Semillon  Pronunciation:   say-me-YOHN   Notes:    This is a grape variety that's sometimes developed into a dry white wine, sometimes into a excellent dessert wine.    Substitutes:  Sauternes OR Muscat


Viognier   Pronunciation:  vee-ohn-YAY  Notes:    This assertive white wine from California exudes a complex perfume of flowers and fruit.  It's expensive and hard to find, but it's delicious with seafood and poultry.  Substitutes:   Johannisberg Riesling


Vouvray   Pronunciation:  voo-VRAY  Notes:  This is a slightly sweet French white wine made with Chenin blanc grapes.  Substitutes:  Chenin blanc



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